Johermyn Chavez just turned on the first pitch of the ninth inning and sent it soaring over the fence in left center to give Seattle a 6-5 lead. Ernesto Frieri had come on to pitch for the Padres and Stormin’ Johermyn wasted no time in showing off some of his reputed power. First, it was Carlos Peguero yesterday and now Chavez.
Maybe the M’s do have some real power lurking in the minors.
Let’s not forget, they aren’t exactly facing Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee this late in games. But still, it’s a game situation and they’ve both responded in the clutch.
2:43 p.m.: They just announced today’s attendance as 2,119 here at Peoria Stadium, which is a bit more realistic than yesterday’s “paid” total of more than 5,900. The two crowds seem roughly the same just by the eye-test, but it’s reasonable to assume that many of those announced yesterday simply bought the tickets for charity reasons and did not attend.
Alex Liddi reached base on an infield single, then came around to score later in the seventh of a grounder to the right side. That gave Seattle a brief lead, but the Padres tied it up with a ground-rule double off Garrett Olson in the bottom of the frame.
So, we’re in a 5-5 tie.
The Padres scored a fourth run off Chris Ray in the sixth inning. So, not the greatest day for the bullpen candidates yet again. But as we’ve mentioned, it’s still early.
1:54 p.m.: David Pauley got through two scoreless frames on two hits. But then Brandon League came on in the fifth and gave up a leadoff walk to Guillermo Quiroz. A pinch-runner stole second and then a single by Will Venable brought a run home to cut Seattle’s lead to 4-3.
Clearly, a late-inning reliever can’t be giving up leadoff walks to light-hitting catchers. But it’s early. Like Fister, it’s a matter of League finding his release point and shaking off the rust.
Alex Liddi of Italy is now in the game at third base.
1:30 p.m.: Greg Halman just went deep to left center with a runner aboard in the fifth inning, giving the Mariners a 4-2 lead. Nice shot from Halman, who is in tough to make the squad.
Doug Fister got through his second inning a little better than the first. He finished at 40 pitches, allowing the two runs on three hits and a walk.
As I suspected, he was a bit rusty, getting too many pitches up and missing his spots.
“The first inning the ball was up a little bit,” he said. “I’m trying to find the release point again and just getting back in the swing of things. It’s just a matter of constantly making adjustments and staying focused on body positions and finishing and location of the pitch.”
Fister added that he’s “just really trying to focus on keeping the ball down early in the spring, not worry too much about side to side.”
There were some in-game adjustments he needed to make and did do it by the second inning. But overall: “I had to make some adjustments and didn’t do it quite quick enough, but that’s the learning process.”
12:39 p.m.: Location is a big part of Doug Fister’s game and he seemed to struggle with it in the first inning as San Diego scored twice to tie it up 2-2. Fister left some balls in very hittable places and paid a price as Orlando Hudson — not exactly Barry Bonds in recent years — hit one off the batter’s eye in dead center field for a mammoth run-scoring double. Fister also yielded two additional hits, one of them an RBI single by Ryan Ludwick, as well as a walk.
In other words, he looked rusty. Didn’t keep the ball down where he likes to and clearly missed some spots.
12:25 p.m.: Gabe Gross is going to need a strong spring if he’s to make the ballclub as a reserve outfielder and he got off to a good start today. With runners at the corners and two out, he hit a hard line drive to the gap in right center for a two-run double that gave Seattle a 2-0 lead after a half inning.
Jack Cust was running hard on the play and made it in safely from first base. But barely. It was a poor relay throw and the catcher, former Mariner Guillermo Quiroz, dropped the ball. Otherwise, Cust would have been out. An aggressive call by third base coach Jeff Datz, but you have to make those with two out. And sometimes, when you do that, the other team presses and makes mistakes.
11:57 a.m.: The actual Cactus League gets underway today, even though the stats from yesterday’s Charity Game do count. Not sure why they didn’t count in the past. Exhibitions are exhibitions. Not like you have “real” and “fake” ones.
Anyhow, Doug Fister is slotted to go two innings today.
The Padres have a former M’s catcher from 2010 going today. No, not Rob Johnson. It’s Guillermo Quiroz.
They are also playing AL rules today even though the Padres are the home team. Early in spring training, the general managers of two opposing teams will often agree to use the DH in order to get certain players more at-bats.
2B Josh Wilson
SS Brendan Ryan
1B Justin Smoak
DH Jack Cust
RF Gabe Gross
LF Michael Saunders
3B Matt Tuiasosopo
C Adam Moore
CF Greg Halman
RHP Doug Fister
CF Wil Venable
SS Jason Bartlett
3B Jorge Cantu
LF Ryan Ludwick
2B Orlando Hudson
DH Oscar Salazar
1B Jesus Guzman
RF Aaron Cunningham
C Guillermo Quiroz
LHP Wade LeBlanc